The judge in the Anna Nicole Smith drug conspiracy case acquitted her boyfriend-lawyer Howard Stern of two charges of obtaining drugs for her by fraud and deceit including use of false names.
Los Angeles Superior Court judge Robert Perry also dismissed part of a conspiracy count against Stern and Dr Sandeep Kapoor, ruling there was insufficient proof that the two men conspired to obtain controlled drugs through fraud and deceit.
Judge Perry allowed the balance of that conspiracy charge to stand and ruled the bulk of the 11-count complaint would go to the jury for a decision.
Stern, Kapoor and Dr Khristine Eroshevich deny conspiring to prescribe, administer and dispense a controlled substance to an addict. They are not charged over former Playboy model Smith’s 2007 overdose death.
Judge Perry has been critical of the prosecution case and previously said some charges would probably be dismissed. But he noted “there is a presumption (in the law) in favour of letting cases go to the jury”.
The legal arguments have taken up so much time that closing arguments have been delayed until Monday.